Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Last Year's Summer Camp

lovely photos by Caroline-Rebecca

Summer Camp went so well last year. I'm excited for more cooking fun this summer! Cute kids, yummmy food, and lots of smiles...doesn't get much better than that! Reserve your child's spot here!

Zucchini Two Ways

Yesterday we bought our vegetable starters for our itsy-bitsy garden. Our zucchini plant is already making me happy because I know it will most likely thrive, even under my black thumb! Here are two favorite recipes to use up all that zucchini you grow this summer:


3 zucchini or and/or yellow crookneck squash, cut into ¼” rounds
3 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced small
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ t. basil
salt and pepper to taste
pinch red pepper flakes
½ c. fresh Parmiggiano-Reggiano or Pecorino
1 lb. pasta of choice

Sautee onion and garlic. Add zucchini and cook on medium-high, slightly browning zucchini (don’t overcook or the zucchini will get mushy). Add basil, pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, adding about 1-2 tablespoons of salt before adding pasta. Cook according to directions on box. Drain pasta but do not rinse. Add zucchini to cooked pasta. Sprinkle most of cheese, leaving remainder to serve on top of individual servings. Serves 4-6.


About 5 cups chicken stock
3 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 cup medium-grain rice such as Arborio, Vialone Nano, or Carnaroli
½ cup dry white wine (I like to use Fre alcohol-removed)
3 small zucchini, sliced
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Pour the stock into a saucepan and bring barely to a simmer. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with the oil. Add the onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and rice and stir until the kernels are hot and coated, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and continue to cook and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Add half of the zucchini and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the stock ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly and making sure the liquid has been absorbed before adding more. When the rice is about half cooked, stir in the remaining zucchini and the salt and pepper. The risotto is done when the rice grains are creamy on the outside and firm, yet tender to the bite, 20-25 minutes total. Rice varies, so you may not need all of the stock or you may need more. If more liquid is required, use hot water. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and the cheese. Spoon into warmed soup plates and serve. Serves 4-6.

Friday, May 28, 2010


picture from Crate and Barrel

With warm weather (hopefully!) making its way in, who wouldn't love to nibble on a perfectly ripe, juicy mango? But there's always that troubling problem of how on earth do you get around that ever-elusive yet ever-present pit! Enter stage left:the Mango Pitter, by OXO. The happy mango-orange color it comes in is reason enough to pick one up!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dutch Pannekoeken and Belgian Chocolates

Last November I started really missing my mom and dad who are living in Belgium. We scrounged up every Sky Mile we could get our hands on and booked SIX tickets to Brussels for the end of April. We spent two delightful weeks romping around the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium with the whole crew and fit in a whole lot of Nana Becca and Grandpere time in between!

My cute dad surprised me on Mother's Day with breakfast in bed!

You'll have to give their thinner version of pannekoeken (aka. CREPES) a try:

4 eggs
1 cup flour
½ t. soda
½ t. salt
1 ½ cup milk
2 heaping T. sugar
2 T. oil plus some for cooking

Sift together dry ingredients. Add remaining ingredients. Pour a little oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Pour a small amount of batter in and spread by moving pan. When bubbles appear, flip. Serve with fresh whipping cream and strawberries. Serves 4-6.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Announcing Summer Cooking Camp! Your children (ages 6-12) will love learning to make fast, easy, and FUN recipes!

-Session 1: June 14-17, 21-24, 2:00-3:30 P.M. OR 3:30-5:00
-Session 2: August 9-12, 16-19, 2:00-3:30 P.M. OR 3:30-5:00
-Classes will be held in my "cucina" in the Country Club area of Salt Lake City.
-The cost is $110 for 8 classes and all materials OR
$60 for one week (4 classes) and all materials.
-$25 registration fee to reserve spot (applies towards tuition).
-$10 tuition discount for additional sibling or a friend referral!

Leave a comment with your first name, your child's first name and age, session preference and an email address where you can be reached. I will then email you the details of the class! Classes are limited to 5-6 children, so sign up soon to guarantee your child's place! Thanks for your interest in Cucina della Mamma.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Great Book on "Real" Food

I don't where exactly my philosophy on food came from, but this book confirms many of my feelings and opinions on the subject. At once eye-opening yet pragmatic, I'd say give it a chance!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Healthy Kids' Snacks

Today I was invited to Sam's class to teach the kids some healthy snack ideas. Talk about fun! We made the traditional Ants on a Log, Goldfish in a Pond, and Banana in a Blanket. Another fun snack I've done with my cooking class are these adorable Strawberry Mice. They are all very easy and the kids love making and eating them! Little trick I've learned: the more a child is involved in the preparation of the food, the more likely they are to try it and like it!